Eagle Ford Shale: Why Even the Oil Woes Are Bigger in Texas

The shale in Southeast Texas has the potential to emit 5.9 billion tons of carbon dioxide over the course of its extraction lifetime.

Source: Repsol


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A few months ago, The Guardian did a five-month investigation into “carbon bombs,” or fossil fuel projects that would, over the course of their life, emit over one billion tons of carbon. They found that there are 195 planned oil and gas carbon bombs around the world, and if they proceed as planned, these projects alone would blow past internationally agreed upon climate targets. For our tenth deep dive on carbon bombs, we take a look at the Eagle Ford Shale: an oil and gas formation near the Gulf Coast of Texas. The U.S. portion contains 6.5 billion barrels of oil, 5.7 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, and 1.3 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, which together would have the potential to emit 5.9 billion tons of carbon dioxide. Beyond the global climate impact, Eagle Ford has run into several local issues, from water shortages to highly polluting flaring systems to economic inefficiencies that have driven several companies that explored Eagle Ford into bankruptcy. Today, we’ll explore what problems the Eagle Ford Shale presents, how climate change impacts the Gulf Coast of Texas, and how the region can move forward in an environmentally and economically sustainable way. With special guest Dr. Rabi Mohtar:  Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Texas A&M University.

The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise.

This episode is the third in our four-part series collaborating with the Gulf Climate Listening Project covering environmental issues on the Gulf Coast. If you are interested in learning about stopping LNG exports and creating a better future on the Gulf Coast, visit GulfCoastMurals.com.

Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.


Writers: Hallie Cordingley, Mo Polyak, Ethan Brown, Velina Georgi, Madeleine Salman

Fact Checker: Owen Reith

Editor: Megan Antone

Producers: Ethan Brown, Hallie Cordingley, Shannon Damiano

Ad Voiceover: Megan Antone

Music: Brett Sawka

The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.


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The Sweaty Penguin
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.


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